Tech Job Seekers: Mastering CV Keywords for Success
Are you tired of sending out countless CVs and never hearing back from potential employers or recruiters?
It’s time to take control of your job search and make sure your CV stands out from the crowd.
In today’s article, we will delve into the world of CV keywords, why they matter, how to choose them wisely, and how to use them effectively.
Get ready to boost your chances of landing that dream job!
What are CV Keywords
First, let’s understand what CV keywords are and why they hold such significance. In a previous blog, we introduced Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and how companies utilise keyword searches to rank and filter job applicants.
When you submit your CV online, it goes straight into an ATS database.
Hiring managers then search for suitable candidates by typing specific keywords related to the job they want to fill. These keywords primarily encompass job titles, hard skills, and soft skills—essentially, they are the key to unlocking job opportunities.
What CV Keywords do Tech Recruiters Look for?
For tech recruiters, it’s crucial to identify the right keywords to narrow down their search effectively.
Job titles can be varied and ambiguous in today’s market (we explore this a little later), making it essential to focus on hard skills that match the employer’s requirements.
For instance, if we receive a job brief for a “Frontend Developer,” simply searching for that title will yield a long list of job seekers, some of whom may not meet the criteria.
Regrettably however, many CVs don’t even make it to the recruiter’s desk simply because they lack the right keywords.
It’s crucial to find the right keywords to use and understand how to employ them effectively.
How do you Find the Right Keywords and How do I use Them?
The best approach is to carefully read the job description, paying close attention to the listed skills and qualifications. Incorporate these keywords into your CV, both in your experiences section and your bio.
However, don’t simply add all the keywords and hit send. Take the time to refine the existing keywords in your CV to align with the job description.
Let’s consider an example: if you’re a graphic designer with extensive experience in Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes popular software like Photoshop and Illustrator. But suppose the job description mentions only “Adobe Creative Suite,” its former name. If you have “Adobe Creative Cloud” on your CV but the hiring manager searches the ATS for “Adobe Creative Suite,” you risk being excluded from the results, even though you possess the exact skillset they’re seeking. To optimise your CV for that particular job opening, change your resume keyword to “Adobe Creative Suite.”
The same holds true for job titles. Job titles can vary based on industry, company culture, or experience levels. Let’s explore three examples:
You’re applying for a “Content Writer” position, but your previous job title was “Content Creator,” which is what you’ve listed on your CV. Since the job description specifically mentions “Content Writer,” this is what the hiring manager is likely to search for. Although it’s the same job, change “Content Creator” to “Content Writer” on your CV to increase your searchability.
The era of job title buzzwords like “ninjas,” “gurus,” and “rock stars” is fading away, thankfully. However, let’s say you still have “Customer Service Wizard” listed from a previous job. Unless the job description requires actual sorcery skills, it’s best to change the job title to reflect the position you’re applying for.
Suppose you worked for six years as a “Web Developer” at a small firm that didn’t differentiate experience levels. In other contexts, you would be considered a “Senior Web Developer,” so make that change on your CV when applying for other senior-level positions.
Changing job titles on your resume is perfectly acceptable. All you’re doing is translating your job titles into the same language used by the hiring manager of the company you’re applying to. This is what optimising your resume keywords is all about—speaking the employer’s language and increasing your chances of getting noticed.
It’s important to note that re-contextualising your work experience is the goal here, rather than embellishing or fabricating it. Avoid giving yourself a promotion you didn’t actually receive but felt you deserved.
Example Tech Keywords
To assist one step further, we have compiled a list of some (123 to be exact) of the most popular keywords that appear on CVs in the tech world. These provide a great starting point when drafting your CV, but always remember to tailor it to how they are used in the job description of the role you are applying for!
- big data
- business analysis
- business continuity
- C (programming language)
- computer applications
- computer science
- D (programming language)
- data center
- data collection
- data entry
- data management
- development activities
- digital marketing
- digital media
- end user
- graphic design
- information management
- information security
- information technology
- IT infrastructure
- machine learning
- mechanical engineering
- operations management
- process development
- process improvement
- process improvements
- product design
- product development
- product knowledge
- program management
- quality assurance
- resource management
- root cause
- service delivery
- software development
- software development life cycle
- software engineering
- SQL server
- technical issues
- technical knowledge
- technical skills
- technical support
- test cases
- test plans
- user experience
- vendor management
- web services
So, job seekers, now that you know the power of CV keywords, it’s time to take action! Carefully choose the right keywords, tailor your CV to each job application, and optimize it to maximize your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers. Remember, the right keywords can open doors to exciting career opportunities. Good luck on your job search!